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Full text of "Address delivered at Wadesboro, N.C. before the Daughters of the Confederacy and the Confederate Veterans on the 7th of August, 1903"

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August 7t 1903 

W.M. Hammond 






CLASS OF 1889 



«^ «5^ 

Delivered at Wadesboro, N. C. f before the Daughters of the 

Confederacy" and the Confederate 


<j^ fSP 

On the 7th Day" of cAugust, 1903 





Before the Daughters of the Confederacy and the 
Confederate Veterans, 



ON THE 7th OF AUGUST, 1903 

"Living, they adventured everything for right and 
justice, and having fulfilled all patriotic lahors, cast 
themselves into one vast gulf of slaughter. 

"Dying, they bequeathed only incomplete aims and 
unaccomplished thoughts. 

"Being dead, they still speak to us by majesty of 
memory and by strength of example."— Ruskin. 



Pbintebs and Bindees 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2011 with funding from 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hil 


Daughters of the Confederacy, Veterans of Anson, Ladies 
and Gentlemen: 

Could inclination rather than the requirements of custom 
be the rule of my conduct, I would love to talk to you to-day 
of "peace and rest and quiet things," to call about me some half- 
score of these "gray-haired boys" and revisit with therm the 
scenes of fifty years ago ; the clay-chinked hut close by the 
"cool-lipped spring" — 

"The humble home of school boy life; 

The rough-hewn seats, the slab-floored hall ; 
And carved with man}' a truant knife, 

Our rude initials on the wall." 

And amid such surroundings transport ourselves on "backward 
fancy" to the dear old days so full of innocence and peace — 
that "halcyon time" when even the birds of the air did "keep 
their nests in peace, and the Son of man had place — spacious, 
large and fair — whereon to lay his weary head ;" but inexor- 
able custom demands that I deal with less pleasing things, 
and so I must tell of stress, and strife and bloody toil. 

The situation is indeed an exceptional one. Self-exiled 
from the home of my boyhood and the friends of my youth for 
more than the life of a generation ; an alien, save in affection 
and sympathy, to the society of the men whose fame and whose 
services these grave observances were ordained to celebrate, 
I find myself summoned to assist my surviving comrades, 
and the men and women of a later generation, in the pious 
work of renewing ancient friendships, of recalling names and 
associations made beautiful and dear by death, and of reviving 
the memory of transactions grown indistinct amid the changes 
and vicissitudes of thirty-seven years : it would indeed be 
difficult to imagine a situation more suggestive of noble 
reflections, or one involving duties more delicate and embar- 

Essential as it is to safety, both in expression and conduct, 
even truth itself can not always seem opportune or pleasing 
"in the telling;" and yet innocence and virtue scorn to have 
themselves clothed in any other dialect — candor is always the 
indispensable ally of justice and surely both truth and justice 
are due to the dead ; and my speech to-day must deal alike with 
the living and the dead. 

How feeble and inadequate are even the loftiest resources 
of intellect and eloquence to the just discussion of topics that 
belong to such an occasion as this ! 

What form of noble utterance can compass the excellence of 
woman's unselfish love, or equal the praise of such as die for 
home and freedom ! 

A great Athenian orator, more than three thousand years 
ago, speaking by command of the State in praise of his country- 
men who had fallen on Thracian plains fighting for Grecian 
liberty, confessed the feebleness of that art of which he was 
himself the world's consummate master, by prefacing the 
noblest panegyric that ever fell from mortal lips, with a 
protest against the custom that permitted the virtues of the 
dead to be periled in the speech of one man, there to find 
praise or blame according as the speaker might deliver him- 
self well or ill. 

Instructed by such an example, admonished by such con- 
siderations, it can not seem strange that I hesitated for some 
time to undertake the service desired at my hands ; and I 
frankly confess, that had not the summons you sent, seemed 
to me to have in it as much of the authority of a command as 
of the grace of an invitation, the duty it outlined would have 
been shifted to shoulders more capable and worthy. 

Amiable as that invitation was, both in purpose and in ex- 
pression, it had to me a significance more pleasing and persua- 
sive than its formal terms conveyed, for to my imagination it 
seemed less a courtesy from the living, than a call to duty 
from the dead — the comrades whom "I loved long since and 
lost awhile," and whose familiar accents were calling to me 
across the waste of vanished years, bidding me stand once 
more in the presence of their survivors and their children, 
and rehearse with them the story of their splendid deeds. 

Construing your message thus, I gladly put aside all other 
considerations, and am here to celebrate with you the glories 
of Southern prowess and Southern achievement; to tell how 
well they fought, how nobly died — these men in gray ! 

Pausing only to express my contempt for the disposition 
prevalent in certain quarters to deprecate the discussion of 
questions that found rude settlement more than thirty-eight 
years ago as impolitic and unprofitable, I proceed to enumerate 
the causes that led a peace-loving people to sever the political 
ties that for nigh a century had bound them to their asso- 
ciates of the North, and to seek outside the Union that protec- 
tion, which had been openly and insolently denied them within 
it, though solemnly and expressly guaranteed in that constitu- 
tion, which was itself the very bond and charter of the Union, 

The discussion has grown easier now, and more likely to 
lead to just conclusions. The day of prudent disguise and 
hushed submissiveness ha9 passed, and we of the South have 
no longer either occasion or motive to conceal the sentiments 
that impelled us to the struggle ; not to plead the dear pi erog- 
ative of grief, in apology for our expressions of reverence 
for the cause, and of admiration for the men who consecrated 
it with their lives. 

Peaceful methods have long prevailed in tbe administration 
of public affairs ; the passions incident to civil strife have 
ceased to stir the minds of reasonable men ; and the situation 
both at home and abroad invites to that judicial calmness, in- 
dispensable to the formation of just judgments touching the 
transactions of former times. 

Opinions and conduct, that were lately denounced as per- 
nicious and treasonable, are beginning to be everywhere rec- 
ognized as sincere and patriotic ; and men may, if they hon- 
estly try, view these things from the vantage ground of truth 
and justice. 

The struggles of contending armies, the thunder of artillery, 
the shouting of the captains, the fiery wheeling of the squad- 
rons no more excite the imaginations or disturb the judgments 
of men, and we can look down upon the fierce fluctuations of 
victory and defeat "from a tranquil spot on the far-off heights, 
whence all the scouring legions seem as if they stood still, and 

all the glancing clash and confusion of battle, as though it 
were blended in one sheet of steady flame ; and thus, after time 
has subdued passion and quenched resentment do all shifting 
things seem nxed." 

This, my friends, is the historian's opportunity, and now 
public opinion, cleared of all mists of passion and of prejudice, 
may assume with' safety the judgment seat. And I would deem 
myself delinquent, if on an occasion such as this, or on any 
fit occasion, or in any company, I should fail to justify the 
motives that 42 years ago led an unoffending people to hazard 
everything, and to suffer everything in defense of chartered 
right; and ^so to establish if I can, in the public opinion of man- 
kind, the justice of the cause, and the integrity of the conduct 
of the men, who, with infinite sacrifice and unexampled devo- 
tion, upheld that cause through four bloody years and against 
most appalling odds. 

Oh, my brothers, there is consolation here, and hope for 
you and for me ! Our brothers, our friends, with all our mar- 
tyred ones, must never leave their narrow beds ; but it is only 
their bruised bodies that must await the resurrection morn. 
The principles for which they fell have never known "defeat 
of death, nor suffered long confinement in the grave." 

Overborne for a time, outnumbered and forced from any 
field, they straightway shift the forum, and through infinite 
changes of procedure, get themselves settled somewhere, and 
somehow else, it may be on the field of fair debate, or by the 
unpurchasable ballots of men who will not consent to be the 
equals and associates of slaves. 

There is a dogma now somewhat prevalent, which holds that 
in estimating the quality of serious efforts to change the social 
and political systems of nations, the historic sense can take no 
account of the motives and purposes that actuated those by 
whom the change was attempted. 

"This dogma," says one of its most distinguished propagan- 
dists, "forbids posterity to judge results by motive, or real 
consequences by the ideals and intentions of the actors who 
produce them." "By their fruits ye shall know them" is the 
rule for decision, whether motives or results be in question. 

The true rule, the just rule, would seem to be quite othei- 


wise, and in subordination to the "Divinity that shapes our 
ends, rough-hew them how we will," there is no enlightened 
code of morals or of law that rejects motive as the true 
standard for determining the quality of human conduct. 

Guilt or innocence, applause or censure, are in their right 
analysis but questions of intention. Indeed any different rule 
would not only subvert justice, but would be fatal to all vir- 
tuous enterprise ; and the long catalogue of heroes and martyrs, 
whose toils and sacrifices have lighted the pathway of human 
progress through all the ages, would stand at last as a 
gang of delinquents, and malefactors in the eyes of mankind. 

It is true that the motives of men are often wiser and better 
than their conduct ; it is also true that as the interval between 
great events and the time for estimating the motives of the 
actors in them increases, the opinions and conduct of those 
actors become more and more difficult of correct ascertain- 

This, however, only emphasizes the duty of all who are 
interested in forming the judgments of history, to see to it 
that the public opinion of mankind be neither "misled by malice, 
nor corrupted by clamor, nor debauched by falsehood ;" and to 
this end, the friends of historic truth should be of all men the 
most vigilant, — ever on guard against the incursions of error 
and injustice. On no other condition is it possible to secure 
just estimates of motive, apart from results; and so it falls out 
that if the motives of men are pure, their intentions patriotic, 
and their conduct courageous, then however disastrous the re- 
sult may be, it can never be used to impeach their characters, 
nor to "tarnish the nobility of their transactions." 

What then have we, the associates and survivors of the men 
of '61, to allege in behalf of a cause for whose maintenance 
their blood was shed, their valor spent, their lives and hopes 
foreshortened so? 

If these dead men died not innocent, then better for them, 
and better for us all, that they and their transactions be left 
to silence and eternal sleep; but if they sincerely strove for 
right and justice, then justice demands for them the language 
of truth and boldness. 

Instructed then by truth, waiving all question of sectional 


or public sensibility, appealing to the example of a free an- 
cestry, let us canvass the causes that hurried an unoffending 
people into the turmoil and horrors of civil war. 

No one, I think, even moderately familiar with the course of 
public opinion and political conduct in the two sections during 
the quarter of the century that preceded the opening of hos- 
tilities, will deny that throughout that entire period, the con- 
duct of the Southern people was marked by as much of 'con- 
ciliation and forbearance as was ever exhibited by a high- 
spirited race living under a system of exact political equality, 
and holding under express constitutional guarantees the ex- 
clusive control of all their domestic and internal affairs. 

By the letter of the constitution, by national statute, and by 
comity of States, rights, whether of person or property, exist- 
ing under the laws of Georgia or of the Carolinas, were en- 
titled to full recognition, and complete protection, under the 
laws of Massachusetts, and of every other State. 

This was, indeed, the very bond and charter of the Union; 
it w;is the chief end, the indispensable condition of the asso- 
ciation of sovereign States; and its repudiation by any State, 
or its denial by those charged with administering the national 
government, necessarily involved the abrogation of this es- 
sential principle, on whose preservation the permanence of 
the Union must under all circumstances depend. 

Now, history records the fact, that ' the withdrawl of this 
protection, the disregard of this guarantee, had become the 
settled policy of fourteen sovereign States of the North, and 
the creed of political faith, the text of civic instruction for an 
organized and aggressive school of politicians throughout all 
the States of that section. To illustrate: In 1832 a single 
Southern State, exasperated beyond endurance at the unjust 
tariff exactions of the Federal Government in the matter of 
foreign imports, and at the grossly unequal expenditure of 
public money, sought through its Legislature to annul within 
its borders such of the laws for the collections of import duties 
as were deemed oppressive and unjust; and for this action 
the State referred to, incurred the condemnation of every 
other State, and threats of coercive intervention by the powers 
of the National Government. 

Between 1858 and i860, not one, but 14 States of the North 
had through their Legislatures, and in open defiance of the 
Federal Constitution, of the fugitive slave law of Congress, 
and of the solemn judgment of the United States Supreme 
Court, enacted what they denominated "Personal Liberty 
Bills," prohibiting in terms, the restoration to their owners, 
of any slaves escaping into their jurisdictions. 

Under these sinister influences, and in the year i860, the 
control of the National Legislature, and the direction of the 
National policy passed absolutely into the hands of the fierc- 
est advocates of this new and pernicious doctrine. 

The chief executive office of the Government, and the great 
department of State, having been assigned respectively to the 
most active propagandist, and to the original discoverer of the 
"Higher-Law" heresy, which, as its name implies, was the 
recognition and application of a rule of constitutional construc- 
tion, and of National administration, higher than the Consti- 
tution itself, and more binding on the conscience ; a doctrine, by 
the way, that seems to have survived its author and its first 
exemplars, and is to-day, in several material points, the in- 
spiration of executive conduct and the rule of National policy. 
The familiar maxim that "necessity knows no law" finds its 
scope mightily enlarged, and now, necessity knows nothing 
either of law or of the Constitution. Witness the schemes of 
foreign conquest ; the enrollment of great armies for subju- 
gating distant and unoffending races ; and the erection of 
strange jurisdictions seven thousand miles across the sea. 

There were indeed other and very flagrant infractions of 
constitutional guarantees. The riotous resistance to Govern- 
ment officers charged with the enforcement of the judgments 
of the Federal courts ; the armed invasion of the soil of 
Virginia ; the seizure of the Government arsenal at Harper's 
Ferty, the forcible prevention of the citizens living beyond 
the Mississippi, fromi the free expression of their wishes in 
framing their plans of government, were all sources of exas- 
peration and estrangement ; but quickly yielding to prudent 
counsels and conciliatory treatment: 

It was, my friends, the "higher law" doctrine ; this "God and 
Morality" business that furnished the pretext for armed 


coercion, and deluged the land with the blood of two millions 
of our people. Offenses did come. What history and eternal 
justice demand to know is, by whom did they come? Who 
piled the fagots that fed the flame that shriveled up the goodly 
tree of national concord? What felon hand made the first 
breach in the wall of constitutional restriction, through which 
rushed the black tide of sectional hate and civil war? 

We of the South stand ready for the issue: let the inquest 
proceed ! Inasmuch, however, as the defenders of civil liberty 
are not only held to sincerity and good faith in their profes- 
sions, but are also responsible for the wisdom and prudence 
of the measures adopted for their maintenance, it has been 
objected that the Southern leaders are blameworthy for having 
resorted to a remedy that was manifestly impossible of a peace- 
ful application ; and this chiefly on the ground that secession 
had no warrant in the 'Constitution and was without precedent 
either in the political history of our government or in the 
opinions of the great authors and expounders of that instru- 
ment. "We should have known," say our traducers, "that 
secession meant war and bloodshed, and that we as a people 
were wholly unprepared to assert our claims under that form 
of procedure." This criticism has two infirmities. In the 
first place, the premise from which the conclusion is sought to 
be drawn is utterly and palpably false, and as to the charge of 
unwisdom and folly in the attempt to assert our views of con- 
stitutional right under the conditions then existing, our ac- 
cusers are playing the very safe and contemptible role of pre- 
dicting results after their accomplishment; they belong to "the 
belated breed" of prophets after the fact. 

It is true that the Constitution affords no express authority 
for the withdrawal of a State from the Federal Union ; in other 
words, makes no provisions for the destruction of a political 
system whose creation was the special purpose for which 
that Constitution was adopted. And so the Constitution is 
equally silent on the subject of coercion of any State, or of any 
number of States, by the military power of the other States, 
or by the Federal Government ; and as for precedents, they are 
present in amazing abundance ; let me cite a few : 

Passing by the debates in the conventions of 1778 and 1789, 


in which not a doubt was ever uttered or intimated as to the 
perfect right of any State, upon sufficient cause, to withdraw 
itself from the Union, I come down to a later period when 
experience and discussion had formed the opinions of states- 
men and publicists, respecting the relations of the States to the 
General Government and to one another. Of these, one of 
the greatest (and then representing the commonwealth of 
Massachusetts in the National Legislature), in the debate on 
the bill to admit Louisiana as a State, declared that "if the bill 
should pass, the States would be free from their moral obliga- 
tions ; and as it would be the right of all, so it would be the 
duty of some, definitely to prepare for a separation — amicably, 
if they could; violently, if they must." This as early as 1804. 

Again, in 1814, the sovereign States of New York, New 
Hampshire, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode 
Island and Connecticut, through their representatives in the 
National Congress, solemnly asserted that "separation must 
come," and that when it did come, "it would be welcomed by 
all the States named; that New York mjust be the centre of 
the new Confederacy, and the others would gather about her 
under the ties of a common interest and a better sympathy." 

Coming down to a still later day, John Quincy Adams, the 
Federalist par excellence, and the fairest flower of New Eng- 
land civilization, declared in 1839, that "nations acknowledge 
no judge between them on earth, and their governments must 
in their intercourse with each other, decide when the failure 
of one pa v tv to a contract absolves the other from the re- 
ciprocal fulfillment of its own obligations. 

"With these qualifications, we may admit the same right as 
vested in the Federal Government, which was exercised by the 
people of the united colonies with reference to the supreme 
head of the British Empire of which they formed a part ; and 
under these limitations, the people of each State in the Union 
have a right to withdraw therefrom." 

And later still, New England's great expounder of the Con- 
stitution, speaking to Virginia patriots in 1851, advised them 
that "if the South should violate intentionally and systematic- 
ally any part of the Constitution, then the States of the North 

would be no longer bound by the rest of it ;" and then enquired 
"should the North deliberately and of fixed purpose disregard 
any part of it, would the South be any longer bound to observe 
its remaining obligations? 

"How absurd is it, when different parties enter into a com- 
pact for certain purposes to pretend that either can disregard 
and disobey one provision, and nevertheless expect the others 
to observe the rest." "I repeat," said he, "if the Northern 
States refuse wilfully and deliberately to carry into effect that 
part of the Constitution which respects the restoration of 
fugitive slaves, and Congress provides no remedy, the South 
would be no longer bound to observe the compact. A bargain 
can not be broken on one side, and still bind on the other.'' 

Could language be more explicit? Could opinion be more 
authoritative? And yet what Webster said in '51 had been 
even more strongly affirmed by his great compatriot more 
than twelve years before : "This Constitution does not at- 
tempt to coerce sovereign States in their political capacity." 
And side by side with this must be set the memorable words 
of Alexander Hamilton : "To coerce the States," said he, 
"is one of the maddest projects that ever was devised, and 
even though wicked men might wish it, can we believe that 
any State will ever suffer itself to be used as an instrument 
of coercion ? The thing is a dream ; it is impossible." 

I would be derelict in my duty w : ere I to omit from this 
statement the testimony of two other "expert witnesses," having 
the greatest authority and credit in all questions of Constitu- 
tional construction and interpretation. 

I therefore confront our critics and accusers, first, with the 
deliberate opinion of James Madison, as set out in number 43 
of the Federalist: 

"What relation," asks he, "is to subsist between the nine or 
more States ratifying the Constitution ; on what principle can 
the Confederation, which stands in the solemn form of a com- 
pact between the States, be superseded without the unanimous 
consent of the parties to it? A compact between independent 
sovereigns, founded on acts of legislative authority, can pre- 
tend to no higher validity than a league or treaty between the 
parties. It is an established doctrine on the subject of treaties 


that all the articles are mutually conditions of each other; 
that a breach of any one article is a breach of the whole treaty 
and that a breach committed by either of the parties absolves 
the others, and authorizes them, if they please, to pronounce the 
compact violated and void. 

"Should it unhappily be necessary to appeal to these deli- 
cate truths for a justification for dispensing with the consent 
of particular States to a dissolution of the Federal pact, will 
not the complaining parties find it a difficult task to answer the 
multiplied and important infractions with which they may be 
confronted ?" 

Speaking without the least suspicion of partiality for South- 
ern opinion, or for the views of Southern leaders, New Eng- 
land's latest historian and most distinguished publicist — Mr. 
Cabot Lodge — declares : "When the Constitution was adopted 
by the votes of States at Philadelphia, and accepted by the votes 
of States in popular convention, it is safe to say, that there 
was not a man in the country, from] Washington and Hamil- 
ton on the one side, to George 'Clinton and George Mason on 
the other, who regarded the new system as anything but an 
experiment entered upon by the States; and from which each 
and every State had the right peaceably to withdraw — a right 
which was very likely to be exercised." 

And so I might occupy your time indefinitely with citing 
opinions and multiplying precedents to establish the propo- 
sition that the Southern people and their leaders had abundant 
warrant for the conviction that the course pursued by them 
was justified both on grounds of undoubted law and of self- 
preservation, and for the further belief that those from whom 
they had decided to separate would quietly acquiesce in that 
proceeding. They are therefore safe from any fair imputation 
of want of good faith, or authority in adopting the remedy re- 
sorted to. They had "precept upon precept," and precedents in 

Standing then upon the very letter and spirit of express 
charters ; insisting on the plain terras of written contracts ; 
willing to discharge to their fullest the obligations that rested 
on themselves ; and demanding only like obedience from others 
who stood under like obligation of law and duty, they met the 

r 3 

threat of coercion and war in the only way left open for men 
who loved liberty more than life, and feared submission worse 
than death ; and appealing to the example of ancestors in 
whose steps they did not fear to tread, answered back the 
battle-cry of oppressor and of Puritan, and "lighted headland 
and hilltop with the beacon-fires of liberty." 

For four weary years the fierce tide ebbed and flowed ; four 
years the red cross waved, and then went down, no more to 
stream through fields of bloo'd and battle smoke; and bury- 
ing in one grave our aspirations and our dead, we bowed with 
composure to the irresistible decree of fate. 

I therefore affirm that the claims of the people of the South 
were right — right in themselves, and right in the manner of 
their assertion; lawful in fact and lawful in form. 

Having set out the causes that led the South into separation, 
resistance and open war. Having told why they fought, 
what need that I, or any, attempt to tell you how they fought? 
The children of strangers living in lands remote, can tell vou. 
how well they fought — these men in gray. Wherever devo- 
tion is honored and valor esteemed ; where rivers roll, or moun- 
tains rise, or seas expand, the story of their noble deeds has 
flown, and lighted our Southern annals with a lustre com- 
pared with which "all Greek, all Roman, fame grows pale." 

Verily, it is an amazing record ; hastily levied from a race 
whose situation and pursuits were wholly peaceful ; knowing 
nothing from experience of the discipline of camps, or the 
quality of subordination, was it not wonderful how for four 
years these untrained levies, in devotion, in discipline, in valor 
and in achievement, equalled the renown of the seasoned bat- 
talions of the old world ! 

Not "the tough legionaries who trained the flight of Roman 
eagles through eastern deserts and through Scythian snow;" 
not Cromwell's Ironsides, nor the grim Muscovites, whom 
Suwarrow taught to trust nothing but the bayonet; not the 
sturdy Saxons who at Oudenarde, at Ramilies, at Waterloo, 
and Balaklava made British valor immortal ; not the Old Guard 
of Napoleon, so willing to die when the glory of France de- 
manded; not any, nor all of these, can rival the exploits of 
those "fresh-lipped warriors," who rallied at the bugle call of 
Stuart, and were marshalled to the marriage feast of death 
beneath the banners of Hampton, of Johnston, of Jackson 
and of Lee. 


Physical .courage, contempt of danger and death are but 
current military virtues ; subordination, steadiness, patience, 
but the customary result of exarcise and discipline. The men 
who fought for us, exemplified them all ; and above all, and 
better than all, they added moderation and tenderness to in- 
trepidity, and crowned their valor with magnanimity. 

How generous and tender were they even in the very heat and 
flush of victory; how true to all the kindlier instincts of hu- 
manity ! Poor, hunger-pinched heroes in garb of modest 
gray, best hope of many a Southern home ; straining with 
wounded feet through mountain paths and flinty valleys, faint- 
ing with fatigue, smitten with cold, halting with sick- 
ness ! Was your warfare indeed but the outburst of wild 
enthusiasm ? Your desperate daring but " the insolent valor of 
unreflecting impulse?" Surely it could not have been the pur- 
suit of some mere abstraction ; the crusading about after some 
fanciful theory of human right or human freedom that 
brought you to such evil case ; if so, then your equipment and 
bearing did not rightly interpret your motive. Why, these men 
even paid, or tried to pay, for their entertainment with such 
poor token of value as a bankrupt exchequer supplied, and 
what knight-errant or crusader ever did the like of that ? 
And then how happened it that church bells rang and children 
played, and busy reapers strove, and plowmen drove their 
teams aheld in sight of armed thousands, moving at harvest- 
tinie through Pennsylvania's valleys ? Let me close this topic 
with two historic instances: (i condense from Henderson's 

On the 30th of April, 1862, McClellan, with 115,000 effec- 
tive men and 240 pieces of artillery, confronted the army of 
Northern Virginia under Johnston, near Yorktown, number- 
ing 80,000 men of all arms and 40 pieces of artillery. York- 
town fell; the Confederate ironclad Virginia was destroyed, 
and Williamsburg and Seven Pines disclosed the necessity 
for an increase in the army of defense. Lee was placed in 
command, and on the 20th of June found himself with 70,- 
000 effective troops, increased a short time after by the ar- 
rival of Jackson's corps from the Valley, to 86,000 men. 

Four general engagements followed, and on the 3d of July, 
1862, McClellan was seeking safety for his demoralized army 
under the shelter of the gunboats on the James River, leaving 


in the hands of his weaker adversary, 10,000 prisoners, 52 
pieces of artillery, and more than a million dollars' worth of 
army stores. 

On the 24th day of August in the same year, Stonewall 
Jackson crossed the Rappahannock at Hinson's mill with 23,- 
doo men and 36 pieces of artillery, leaving Lee with Longstreet 
a three-days' march to the south, and on the west side of the 
river; just six days later Pope's beaten army of 100,000 men 
and 140 guns was reeling back to the fortifications at 

Within a period of just three weeks Lee, with only 55,000 
effective men and 46 pieces of artillery, had shifted the 
theatre of active operations from the James River to the Po- 
tomac; had driven 80,000 men into the fortifications at Wash- 
ington ; captured 30 pieces of artillery, seven thousand prison- 
ers, twenty thousand rifles and many stands of colors; had 
killed and wounded thirteen thousand five hundred Federals 
and destroyed army stores worth three millions of dollars ; and 
within less than four months, two great armies had oeen de- 
feated; McClellan driven out of the peninsula; and Pope 
forced back to the fortifications at Washington. 

"The campaign had been opened for the purpose, and with 
the confident hope, of capturing the Confederate capital. Be- 
fore the leaves began to fall it was uncertain whether the 
truculent invaders would be able to retain possession of their 
own capital." 

In summing up the results of these movements, the most 
competent and disinterested historian who has yet written on 
the subject declares that "in the instant apprehension and 
prompt execution of such movements as neutralize inequality 
of numbers and resources, and give to an inferior force the 
supremacy under situations the most difficult, and against odds 
the most appalling — these two campaigns, when carefully 
studied and understood, must secure for Lee, as a strategist 
and master of military combinations, the first rank in the cata- 
logue of the world's great commanders." 

I am not here, however, to celebrate the exploits of indi- 
vidual leaders, nor to increase the fame of particular cap- 
tains ; that indeed would be quite without the spirit of the oc- 
casion, and wholly beside the purpose of those who designed 
it. When speaking of one, I mean to do honor to all; first 

and foremost, to the rank and file of our Confederate hosts. 
Let me then be as impartial in my praise as are these devoted 
women in their love ; let captains and chiefs, with those they 
led, have equal honors here. 

Holding one hope; standing in one trust; martyrs to a com- 
mon faith, we crown them with a common love, accord them 
equal fame. In place of splendid monuments, we choose to 
build within our hearts the nobler monuments of reverence 
and gratitude and love; and keep forever there, a consecrated 
place for each immortal name : Ranged in "the wide pantheon 
of a people's love," our Southern heroes stand, a shining host, 
a goodly company; nor envy we the blazoned shafts and flat- 
tering epitaphs and lofty monuments that mark the graves of 
those to whom fortune awarded supremacy and success — 

"For them the sculptor's laurelled bust, 
The builder's marble piles, 
The anthems pealing o'er their dust 
Through long cathedral aisles. • 

"For these, the blossom-sprinkled turf, 
That hides their lonely graves, 
When spring rolls in her sea-green surf, 
In flowery foaming waves." 

Breathe but a single warrior's name, and lo ! "from: out the 
land where the dim nations dwell" a thousand knightly forms 
to glowing life uprising. From peaceful vale and wooded 
height and mountain pass they come with shout and sabre- 
clang and bugle peal. Stuart, the high-souled Christian cava- 
lier, true as the steel he wore, and tender like a woman, "the 
flower of men, the rose of chivalry," riding on with his paladins 
to death and endless fame — Hampton, Pegram, Pelham, Forrest 
and all who with them rode. 

Before quitting the matter of the temper in which the war 
was prosecuted by the Southern leaders there is one instance 
which, without the least taint of resentment or bitterness, I will 
present for your consideration. When successful invasion had 
given our foremost chieftain temporary control of the territory 
of a neighboring State, and when he held its soil and its cities 
at his mercy, how happened it that the husbandman pursued 
his toil ; and children played, all undisturbed, while marshalled 
thousands in close array marched by, leaving the land un- 


ravaged and peaceful as before they came? I do not mention 
this to illustrate the magnanimity, or to enhance the fame of 
our matchless chieftain,- — that he suppressed the insolence of 
success, and restrained the passion of an army inflamed with 
the memory of past injuries, and with the expectation of future 
conflicts ; but only to remind you of another incident in military 
annals. A great historian relates that a barbarian king of 
the Visigoths habitually respected the temples and shrines of 
subjugated cities, and that he declined to give battle to the 
Romans on Easter Day ; and during the subsequent sack of 
the imperial city, guarded with scrupulous care its altars and 
its temples from profanation and destruction. 

It will remain) for some future historian to tell how, nearly 
fifteen hundred years later, and at the very noontide of 
Christian civilization a distinguished military chieftain, 
holding commission under a Christian State, and leading a 
veteran and victorious army, signalized the seizure of the 
unresisting' capital of a Christian commonwealth by burning 
the religious house and consecrated chapel of a most venerable 
order of Christain women. But I must not, with retrospects 
like these, "call the old bitterness to life again," and "break 
the low beginnings of content." With better memories and by 
sweeter methods must we draw from this tribute of faithful 
souls grace for ourselves, and instruction for posterity. 

And now, seeing that our discomfiture was complete and 
irretrievable, we comforted ourselves with the reflection that 
fortune had for us done its worst ; and viewing with indiffer- 
ence and contempt the antics of those tardy warriors who 
proudly vaunted themselves in sight of exhausted munitions 
and disbanded armies, we addressed ourselves to the task of 
erecting again the fabric of social order and material pros- 
perity; but this hope was doomed to' disappointment; and the 
blackest page in the long history of oppression and wrong was 
about to be unfolded, for then came reconstruction, with its 
unspeakable horrors, its infamous defiance of every principle 
of humanity in administration and of decency in conduct: but 
I must not dwell upon this topic. Suffice it to say, that what- 
ever malice could suggest, or official cruelty contrive, or official 
brutality inflict, was visited upon a brave but submissive people. 

Ignorance in the judgment seat, corruption in the council 
chamber, rapacity at the receipt of customs, stupidity and 
fraud at the ballot-box, barbarism and brutality everywhere — 


the entire South one writhing, seething mass of rapine, de- 
bauchery and lust. 

"Not thirty tyrants then enforced our chain, 
But every rogue did lord it o'er the land." 

And yet through all this horrible orgy, and though treated 
as bandits and outlaws, the men of the South deported them- 
selves as patriots. They submitted with patience to facts that 
had been accomplished without their approval ; they had taken 
an oath to support the Constitution ; and they were resolved to 
keep it ; and so 1 , seeing there was for them neither pity in 
their conquerors, nor justice in their rulers, they submitted with 
sublime fortitude to horrors whose recital even now arouses 
universal indignation. 

They promoted ignorance over learning, and set brutality 
and lust to keep rule over innocence and virtue. They wrote 
negro suffrage and negro equality with bayonets in the code 
of every Southern State. They ravished the Federal Constitu- 
tion and wrote it there. They laid interdict after interdict 
on white supremacy and white control. As well might they 
have laid an interdict "on seas and worlds to chain them in 
from wandering." 

About this time, there arose in the region round about the 
Capital City of Georgia a Prophet with a message like this : 
''If the negro ever gets a permanent right to vote in this 
country, it must be by the consent of the people who live here," 
and that prophecy has at last found fulfillment. 

Where are your 14th and 15th amendments to-day? There 
were others, too, anointed leaders and guides, men accredited 
by perfect intrepidity and transcendent wisdom to pilot a de- 
spairing people along the lines of prudent self-restraint and 
patient submission back into the sunlight of a new civilization 
and a restored prosperity. 

One such was vouchsafed to the oppressed people of North 
Carolina ; and standing not long since in presence of the 
bronze effigy of your transcendent patriot, recalling his life of 
noble aims and lofty self-denial, its moulded lines seemed in- 
significant and small, and I here predict that the time will 
come when gratitude for rights redeemed and honor saved 
will claim yet larger recognition for him who, when other 
hearts did quake and fail, stood firm and four-square to every 
wind that blew. 

Well may the sons of North Carolina revere the memory 
of this man, who, like William the Silent, "went through life 
bearing the load of a people's sorrow upon his" shoulders with 
a smiling face. The people were grateful and affectionate ; 
for they trusted the character of Zebulon Vance ; and not all 
the clouds that calumny could collect ever dimmed to their eyes 
the radiance of that lofty spirit to which they were accus- 
tomed in their darkest calamities to look for light." 

"While he lived he was the guiding star of a whole brave 
people, and when he died the little children cried about the 

And now it only remains for me to discuss briefly what will 
doubtless seem to you the most satisfactory topic connected 
with the day's observances — I mean the part that North Caro- 
lina played in that mighty struggle for the integrity of State 
sovereignty and the preservation of Southern rights. 

The last but one of the original thirteen to give formal 
assent to the compact of 1789, and to pledge her fealty to "The 
more perfect union then to be ushered in, North Carolina, in 
the same spirit of conservatism, and of loyalty to vows once 
taken that has characterized the conduct of her people at 
every stage of her history, deliberated long and anxiously be- 
fore taking the step that was to separate her from those to 
whom she had been so long associated by the ties of a common 
lineage, of mutual sympathy, and by the memory of toils and 
sacrifices jointly endured. 

To Her, the severing of these ancient ties, and the relin- 
quishment of all participation in a system of government es- 
tablished largely by the wisdom, and defended and perfected 
by the toils and sacrifices of her sons, seemed an alternative 
at which resolution might well hesitate, and patriotism shud- 
der. But after remonstrance and entreaty had alike proved 
unavailing, and seeing only dishonor and shame in longer ad- 
herence to a system already "defrauded of its high design," 
and through the wicked industry of malcontents and traitors, 
about to become an instrument for the impairment of her sov- 
ereignty and the oppression of her people, she, on the 20th day 
of May, 1861, bade her unfaithful associates a solemn and for- 
mal farewell, and made instant alliance with her sister common- 
wealths of the South. And right here I touch upon a topic 
the mere mention of which will forever thrill the souls of 
North Carolinans with pride, and stimulate patriots every- 

where with its record of devoted heroism and superb self- 

Of all the sacrificial offerings with which the people of the 
South piled high the altars of Southern liberty in that su- 
preme struggle for independence, those of North Carolina 
were incomparably the largest and most valuable. 

They were indeed incalculable in value ; incredible in volume, 
and splendid beyond the power of language to express. 

With an aggregate white population in April, 1861, of less 
than 650,000, and with a voting population of not quite 115,- 
000, with all her ports of entry closely blockaded throughout 
the struggle, she contributed more than 128,000 well equipped 
fighting men to the armies of the Confederate States, of 
whom 32,000 came not back again. 

She organized and equipped 73 regiments of infantry, 8 
regiments of cavalry, 3 regiments of artillery, and at least 
9 battalions of mixed troops. 

She had in the Army of Northern Virginia in December, 
1863, 59 full regiments of infantry, 5 of cavalry and 3 of ar- 

Of officers of the rank of major-general she furnished 7, of 
whom 3 were killed in battle. Of 26 commissioned as briga- 
diers (and with three exceptions for distinguished services 
in battle), 6 were killed and only 3 escaped without wounds. 

The losses sustained by North Carolina troops in battle ex- 
ceeded the combined loss of any two States of the South. 
Of the Southern soldiers found dead on the fatal field of 
Gettysburg, 25 per cent, wore the uniform of the Old North 

The two brigades of Pettigrew and Daniel, with a single 
North Carolina regiment then brigaded with Davis' Mis- 
sissipians, lost more than double the number that fell in Pick- 
ett's historic charge. 

At Sharpsburg the Third North Carolina regiment, in less 
than one hour and thirty minutes, lost 330 men out of a total 
of 520; and on the same historic field a single company of the 
Fourteenth North Carolina regiment — never to be named in 
the presence of an Anson county audience save with uncovered 
head and reverend heart — lost in killed and wounded every man 
of the 45 who entered the line of battle on the morning of that 
day. And the same company, out of 43 men who were on the 

firing line at Gettysburg, reported but a single one as having 
escaped without wounds. 

Out of 87 who illustrated at Gettysburg the heroism of 
Anson county's patriots, and who had already m:ade immortal 
Company K of the 26th regiment, not a single man escaped 

Nor were these the only contributions that North Carolina's 
devotion made to the cause of Southern independence ; for I 
am able to state from authentic records, and as a fact within 
the knowledge of men in this audience, that she furnished 
through the military department of the State government to 
the Confederate authorities at Richmond, quartermaster, com- 
missary and ordnance stores of the value of more than $26,- 
000,000 ; and for at least six months next preceding the close 
of hostilities, she was feeding out of her own stores, one-half 
of the Army of Northern Virginia. 

She put more men in the field in proportion to her white 
population than were furnished to either army by any other 
single State, North or South. 

The muster rolls of the Army of Northern Virginia show 
that she had under General Lee in December, '63, more and 
better equipped troops than then stood on the combined muster 
rolls of troops from any two other States of the Confederacy. 

This statement would savor both of incompleteness and of 
injustice should it fail to remind you of patriotic contributions 
of another sort, and from another source to the good cause of 
Southern liberty ; and which were never listed in the account 
of commissary or quartermaster ; nor were set out in official 
reports of any sort. Inestimable in value, and precious 
alike in themselves and in the source from which they pro- 
ceeded, they flowed in a steady stream to camp and hospital, 
varying in amount according to the increased or diminished 
ability of the givers. 

It was affection's tithing ; it was love's sweet usury that thus 
nobly supplemented the scanty resources of a failing ex- 
chequer, and replenished the empty army-chests of Jackson, 
and Johnson, and Stuart, and Lee. It was the patient toil, 
the superb self-denial, of the Spartan Mothers of the South, 
that in the course of a single winter put into the hands of the 
struggling armies around Richmond food and clothing of the 
value of more than $400,000. 


Ah, my friends, it was not through military skill, nor yet 
alone by marshalled thousands, nor amid the thunder of the 
guns, nor the fury of the onset, that the hardest battles of the 
South were fought and won. It was a warfare without pomp 
or circumstance. "No gathering troup, no bivouac-song, no 
banners to gleam and to wave," and to stiffen the sinews, and 
stimulate the soul to deeds of heroism. It was a long warfare 
waged in silence, and in the solitude of women's hearts; and 
in sight of empty chairs and widowed homes. 

The service, though long and difficult, had neither pay, 
promotion, nor emblem of distinction for those who entered 
it. Its rosters were unwritten, but its files were full. It was 
an army of volunteers ; its movements were silent, but steady 
and effective, and its veiled banners told the inspiration of 
the service. 

"Along its ranks no sabres shine, 
Xo blood-red pennons wave : 
Its banners bear a single line, 
'Our business is to save.' " 

I know not how others may feel about this matter, but for 
myself I hold it for shame that the men of the South have de- 
layed so long in attesting by fit and enduring memorials their 
gratitude for the matchless heroism, the unselfish devotion, and 
the patriotic labors of these Cornelias of the Nineteenth Cen- 
tury. Let the business be no longer postponed; let the 
recognition be as large and generous as the love that so nobly 
earned it. 

I would like above all things to speak with more particu- 
larity and detail of the characters and achievements of the men 
of Anson, who, on more than a hundred stricken fields, il- 
lustrated the valor and virtues of your historic county; to tell 
the story of each martyred hero's splendid deeds, and glorious 
death — 

"To muster once more our deathless dead 
Out of each grass-grown grave." 

Alford, and Beverly, the Bennetts, the Boggans, the Bow- 
mans, and Briley, and Haley, the Littles, the Mortons, and 
Threadgills, and Watkins (who has the peculiar distinction 
of being the only man found dead on the battlefield with his 
discharge in his pocket). 

2 3 

But the just limits of a discourse such as this forbid me to 
pursue the topic further. 

Asleep on honor's lofty bed ! There let them lie until the 
resurrection morn shall rouse them from their slumbers. No 
change of fortune, no rise or fall of States ; nor "poison, 
malice domestic, nor foreign levy, can touch them further." 

And now, my comrades, the service you desired at my 
hands has been rendered — feebly, I know — yet right lovingly 
and with a heart overflowing with affectionate aspirations 
for the welfare of you all. May your lives be crowned with 
peace, and all your labors with prosperity. Our meetings and 
greetings will have few repetitions in the years that are to 
come. Your foremost files have already passed beyond the 
horizon of earthly things, and entered the mysterious realm 
"of silence and of shadows" whose confines you and I are 
fast approaching. 

We can almost hear floating in through the deepening 
shadows of life's evening the notes of the bugles, sounding the 
rally at "The River." 

May the crossing be happy and peaceful for us all, and may 
we have joyful reunion and perpetual fellowship with cap- 
tains and comrades who have passed through martyrdom to 
endless repose beneath "The shade of the trees that grow by 
the waters of the River of Life." 

Nor will other companionships fail to find happy renewal 
there. That army of faithful allies whose loving care and 
gentle ministrations so often sustained and consoled you in the 
dark night of disappointment and defeat is advancing its 
milk-white standards to plant them beside your own ; and then 
at last will these true-hearted ones have just precedence of 
place and honor, tor — 

"While valor's haughty champions wait 
Till all their scars be shown, 
Love walks unchallenged through the gate, 
And sits beside the throne." 



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